I have two children and they both had cradle cap as babies. One of them, however, had it as a toddler as well. Now I am not a medical professional, but had my fair share of experience in treating cradle cap. While it was not a pleasant experience, we did find a very easy and quick fix. Thus, I thought it would be useful to share with other new parents in the same situation. If you recognize yourself in the above, do read on.
How the topic of cradle cap came up
We went to the doctors’ today, for a different matter, but the topic of cradle cap popped up. My little girl is now 6 months old and the doctor said that she’s a bit old to have cradle cap. That statement came as quite the surprise because, as I mentioned above, my son got it when he was 2 years old. When I said that, the doctor seemed quite surprised as well. So one thing to remember from this is that there’s not maximum age for it. It could happen later on as well.
Anyhow, that conversation took me back 3 months ago, when we had to battle that issue. But let me first tell you about my son. He had cradle cap as a baby. Unfortunately, we were so overwhelmed being new and sleep-deprived parents that even though we did something about it, we were not very persistent. At some point it seemed to had cleared out, and we thought our efforts were enough to start us on the path to recovery.
Second attempt at battling cradle cap
Two years later, out daughter was 4 months old and our son had just turned 2. Since they were both born with plenty of hair, it was not easy spotting the problem right from the start. Then all of a sudden here we were – looking at both their heads with a bit of a disgust. ( If you’ve seen what cradle cap looks like you’d know what I mean). Because this was the second time we had that issue with my son, we thought that it probably came back, because we did not do much the first time. This may not have been the case, but I have it in my head now and it still bugs me that we could have prevented it. That was also the main reason why this time I was determined to follow through. With both of them.
I bought some baby oil we started lathering their heads with it during bath time. We left the oil sit for about 30 minutes every time, while they play in the bath. That’s how long it took to soften the crusts. Then we tried to brush them away with a soft baby brush. Each of them had their own brush, just in case.
The first time the baby took it well, but I did not dare try hard brushing off the flakes. Our son, however, did not like the experience. Not only is he very particular about anything that happens to his head/hair, but he hates whenever we try to do something with it. That’s true even if it is only a matter of washing. The following day they both looked as if they hadn’t seen a shower in decades.
The next day we skipped.
Day three was my nightmare. I decided to try once again, as I felt we were already falling off the waggon. What really got me scared was that while I was rubbing the oil, a whole bunch of hair fell off with a crust at the root. I was devastated. My son has such long, beautiful blond hair and the thought of him losing it, especially in patches, and especially because I was too lazy to be persistent, terrified me. That experience was very sobering and made me continue with the “treatment” vigilantly for 2-3 more days.
I must say it did not take long to get rid of the flakes and this was a huge surprise. I was so relieved when I saw both their heads clear off the cradle cap. My son kept his hair, and I hope that because we followed through to the end, our daughter won’t get it again later when she’s a toddler.
Summary on cradle cap
So, to recap – don’t be lazy like me to counter that issue. If you notice cradle cap on your baby’s head, just do the following:
- Rub some baby oil in the hair, leaving it to soak for half an hour
- Then brush gently with a soft baby brush until you start seeing the flakes move about. !!! Do not try to pick them yourself, because this might be painful.
- Gently try to remove the crusts that have already let go of your baby’s head.
Do not expect the miracle to happen on the first day. In addition, I’d suggest doing it in a time when you’d not be bothered by the greasy appearance of your baby’s hair, but be persistent.
Note: There are some shampoos specifically for treating cradle cap. I do not disregard them, as I have never tried them. I’ve only used simple baby oil and that has worked for us. In addition, please do have in mind that I am not a medical professional, so this is only our personal experience in treating cradle cap. If the situation gets out of hand or you’re worried, I’d suggest consulting with your GP first.
Here is a link to the NHS page on cradle cap, which has some very useful information. It also has some graphic pictures, but they do give a good idea of what it looks like so you don’t panic when you see it.
I hope this was useful and if you have any different kind of experience or if the above has worked out well for you, please share below. Even though I do hope not to have to deal with this anymore, I believe that any additional input would be of help.